It’s not often 46,000-odd people across Australia tune into a technically fraught YouTube livestream during a workday to watch a court judgement. Just a static shot of one man, reading extracts of a 324-page legal document, for more than two hours.

But that’s what happened yesterday when Federal Court Justice Michael Lee handed down his verdict in Bruce Lehrmann’s defamation case against Network 10 and Lisa Wilkinson. To say it was “much anticipated” or “long awaited” would be to dramatically understate the fervour surrounding it.

While he found Brittany Higgins was an “unsatisfactory witness”, Justice Lee’s judgement was largely a blistering evisceration of Lehrmann. He found Lehrmann, on the balance of probabilites, raped Higgins in Parliament House in 2019 (something he’s always denied) and told deliberate lies throughout the trial.

Of course, none of this needed to happen at all. After the criminal prosecution was dropped in 2022, Lehrmann remained free of criminal conviction. In one of his many memorable turns of phrase, Justice Lee summed up the “omnishambles” by saying Lehrmann, “having escaped the lion’s den [of criminal prosecution], made the mistake of coming back to get his hat”. In his analysis of the verdict, law expert Brendan Clift writes:

“This case was a manifestation of Lehrmann’s professed desire to ‘light some fires’. Few players in this extended saga have emerged without scars, and here he burned his own fingers, badly.”

And extended the saga has been. In the piece, we’ve collated a list of the cases that have sprung up since the initial sexual assault allegations were levelled. If you feel like you’ve heard a lot of the key players in all of this, the 15 cases that have dominated the headlines might be why.

But as several of these cases remain ongoing, including with upcoming trials, you haven’t heard the last of it yet.

Erin Cooper-Douglas

Deputy Politics + Society Editor

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What happens when I stop taking a drug like Ozempic or Mounjaro?

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With democracy under threat in Narendra Modi’s India, how free and fair will this year’s election be?

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The government’s alleged targeting of opposition figures, as well as a new system allowing anonymous donations to political parties, is believed to have given the BJP a huge edge.

Our research suggests eating an unhealthy breakfast could have a similar effect on your child’s school day as having nothing at all

Andrew J. Martin, UNSW Sydney; Emma Burns, Macquarie University; Joel Pearson, UNSW Sydney; Keiko C.P. Bostwick, UNSW Sydney; Roger Kennett, UNSW Sydney

In our new research we looked at what impact breakfast has on students’ motivation to learn and their academic achievement.

Bri Lee’s and Louise Milligan’s predictable first novels combine noughties feminist politics with the swagger of 80s bonkbusters

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Marissa Nivison, University of Calgary; Sheri Madigan, University of Calgary

Attachment theory is the notion that in the first year of life, the ways in which a parent and caregiver respond to a child’s needs shape a child’s expectation of relationships across their lifespan.

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